Distance really does make the heart grow fonder

“I’m sad that you’re going, but it’s a good decision. This will be good for you.” my dad said, draping his arm around my shoulder.
It was finally that time. The day that I’d been somewhat dreading and anticipating all at once, was here. The house was empty; furniture gone, windows naked, just white walls and brown carpet were left. The U-Haul truck was outside parked on the front lawn, full of the contents of the entire house.
If it was such a good thing, why did I feel so sad? There was a strange feeling that came over me when I realized I wouldn’t be living in the house anymore, and even more so when I turned my attention to my mother.
Even though I’d spent the last eight years living with her off and on, I never felt like we had that special mother-daughter bond. Instead, I was glued to my father at the hip. He’d been the one to take care of me for the first six years of my life when my mother wasn’t around.
Part of me didn’t want to go; I wanted to stay with my dad, step mother, and three brothers. But another part of me did want to go because I couldn’t let my mom leave and start anew over a thousand miles away by herself.
“You and your momma will get a chance to bond,” I remembered my dad saying when I first told him about the move to Texas. That was somewhat what I wanted, too. But did I really want to leave my dad? The one person who had been there for me since my birth? I always thought my mother was intimidating, and honestly, I was scared to leave a responsibility she didn’t use to want, with her.
We got in the U-Haul truck, started it up, and pulled away from the house. My eyes were stinging with tears that I fought hard to hold back. I was leaving everything behind; my family, friends, and the city I’d grown up in for fourteen years.
I was scared. Being the new kid in town was never a good thing, especially when starting high school. What if no one liked me? But worse off, what if the relationship with my mother continued to be strained? Would this move be worthless?
Making the transition from seeing her four times a week, to living with her was a big change for me. A woman I hadn’t seen for so many years was suddenly an everyday person in my life. Some girls can’t even imagine not being close with their mothers, but the idea of that actually worried me.
I wanted a stronger bond with her, but she put fear in my heart. My mother is a loud, stern type of woman. Her voice echoes through your bones and makes you quiver, whether she’d demanding you to do the dishes, or simply calling your name.
I’m not sure when I suddenly became afraid of her, but I found that I was. I didn’t want to ever make her upset for fear that she would yell at me. And as we took the two day trip from Michigan to Texas, my heart began to split in half with the shadow of doubt that I’d made the wrong decision.
Arriving in Texas, I can remember my mom looking at me with a bright smile saying “Ally, we made it.” From that moment, it was like all the apprehensive feelings melted away. It was like she was indirectly telling me that everything was going to be okay.
As time went on, we grew closer. The first three years, I saw her everyday for several hours at a time. But last year, she received a new job at Howmet where she works second shift, from three to eleven. I don’t see much of her, and sometimes it feels like we’ve gone back to those times where I only saw her a few days a week, but in other ways, I can feel the tightness of the bond we have.
Had I of chose to stay in Michigan, I know I would have regretted ever taking a chance to build a strong relationship with my mother. Initially I was afraid that we wouldn’t get along, that she’d be resistant to taking care of me. But as the months droned on, I started to notice that our relationship grew tighter than it had ever been. Just like my mother had said, we made it.